immigration-new-zealandIn response to the forecasted high demand for New Zealand Residence Visas, the Government will be bringing in changes to the New Zealand Residence Programme for the next two years.

The planning range for the two year period from 1st July 2016 to 30 June 2018 will be 85,000 – 95,000 (down from 90,000 – 100,000 for the previous years). In order to achieve this lower range, the automatic selection mark for skilled migrants has been raised from 140 to 160 points. There will also be changes to meeting English language requirements, requiring more people to undergo formal language tests.

In addition to the changes impacting skilled migrants, the number of capped places for family members of New Zealand citizens and residents will be 2,000 per year (reduced from 5,500).

The changes will impact on prospective migrants and migrants currently working in New Zealand, as well as New Zealand employers.

The policy’s purpose is to allow flexibility at times of lower demand, such as during economic downturns, while setting parameters for maximum numbers. The entire policy is currently under review to ensure it continues to provide maximum value for New Zealand.

For full details of the proposed changes click here.